Sunday, February 26, 2006

Rerun: Beef or Chicken?

Occasionally when I’m waiting in the boarding area to get on a plane, a passenger will approach and ask if there’s a meal on the flight or if they should get something to eat at the airport.

I’ve never really understood this question.Very few airlines offer food on flights any more.

If you happen to be on one that does serve food, you may have noticed that both the quality and quantity has been reduced. Breakfast may now be a muffin and juice. Dinner, a sandwich. And that’s if you’re on a meal service flight. Most of the time it’s just a beverage and peanuts.

I always try to plan ahead by eating just before heading to the airport or by bringing something with me. The best is when I can bring something to eat from home -- those yummy leftovers from the previous night. Alternatively, most hotels will have a café or coffee shop that can prepare you a sandwich, salad, or simple entrée to go. Ditto for most restaurants. I let them know it’s for travel, and most times they are very helpful in packing it up so that it survives the transit to the airport.

If that’s not an option, there are new services cropping up that will provide you with a meal and deliver it to your office or directly to the airport. I haven’t personally tried out any of these services, but I’m starting to see of lot their food on the plane. A quick Google search should help you find out what’s offered in your area.

If all else fails, get something to eat at the airport. While the choices are limited, most times you can find a sandwich or salad, or a fast food chain.One thing to keep in mind when bringing on food, is the odors that the food will cause around you. While you certainly have the right to whatever you choose, a little thoughtfulness will have your seatmate drooling over your meal rather than holding his nose.

Bon appetit!


JoeyC said...

All longhauls offer meals.

The longest without a meal (or buy-on-board at least) should be a transcon, ~5 hours.

Eat a meal at the airport.

You know what I do, actually, even on long-haul flights (trans-atlantic)is bring 2 boxes of Wheat Thins on board with me. I never sleep on aircraft, so to much on a Wheat Thin is pretty nice - and keeps you well fed.

Doritos, Cheetos, Sun Chips, bring something with you. It costs a whole $2.99


Astroprof said...

I sometimes bring a bag of trail mix with me, or crackers like Joey. If I know that I'll be on a trip for a long time, I sometimes pack a sandwich. I'd rather do that than try to carry a meal onboard the aircraft and eat something that smells good next to people who are stuck with pretzels and a drink. Actually, I even try to eat the sandwich in the airport.

Anonymous said...

I am having a strange deja vu: didn't you post this before?

Anonymous said...

You are making the assumption that the passengers are frequent flyers. A lot of people only fly once every few years, and so have no idea what things are like now. Consequently they ask a friendly face :-)

JoeyC said...

Any passenger, reguardless of frequency of travel, has the tools to check their flight information online (for meal information, etc), call the reservations agent, or even ask your ticket agent.

There is NO reason that anyone should complain about that kind of a thing, when they have every resource available to help them.

Fly Girl said...

JoeyC: While it's true that all "longhauls" have "meals" available, the definition of longhaul and meal varies from airline to airline. It also may include Buy on Board products.

Anonymous: You're not suffering from deja vu'. You probably missed the title which said "rerun." I have been getting requests to run some of these earlier posts again. You're obviously a long-time reader if you noticed. Thanks.

Anonymous: You are right in that there are many infrequent travelers who don't know what to do, and I am happy to be the smiling face that answers that question. However, I'd much rather try to help inform people while there are still options available for them to choose from. And I have to think that most of the people traveling have info available from their travel agent, the airline reservation agent, or just from following current events about the turmoil of the airline industry.